- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 11, 2003


Hearing postponed for suspect in bombing

BIRMINGHAM — A bail hearing in Alabama for serial bombing suspect Eric Rudolph was postponed for a week yesterday after defense lawyers requested more time to review court documents.

Rudolph, 36, has been held without bond in a jail in Birmingham since being flown to the city last week to face charges he bombed an abortion clinic in 1998, killing a police officer and maiming a nurse.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said the hearing had been rescheduled for Tuesday.

Rudolph faces the death penalty if convicted of the Alabama bombing. He is also accused of three other bombings in the Atlanta area, including one at the 1996 Summer Olympics, and will be tried separately in Georgia on those charges.


Shooting after festival leaves man dead

CHATTANOOGA — Gunfire broke out at the end of a daylong blues concert, leaving a 20-year-old man dead and a teenager wounded.

About 150 people were leaving the site Monday night when shots were fired, witnesses and police said. The shooters left the scene in a car, police said.

The teenager, who was shot in the chest, was in critical but stable condition at a hospital.

There were no arrests related to the shootings, police spokesman Ed Buice said.


Police find boy locked in closet

PHOENIX — A couple disciplined their 7-year-old son by locking him in a closet for the past six months and refusing to feed him for a week at a time, authorities said. The boy was found bruised and weighing only 36 pounds.

Melanie Loubriel, 28, and Ricardo Loubriel, 39, were being held in the Maricopa County jail on charges of abusing Isaac Loubriel, who was put in state custody. The couple declined comment.

Police went to the Loubriel home Sunday after Isaac’s grandmother reported she hadn’t seen the boy in several months and that he had looked malnourished the last time she had seen him, said Detective Tony Morales.

Officers noticed a bed pushed against a closet that was locked from the outside and heard noises inside, he said. The noises were coming from Isaac, who had been locked up since the beginning of the year.


Waiter serves up dose of revenge

CORONA — Police say a nasty spat at a restaurant between a family and a waiter turned even nastier when the peeved worker served up a dose of revenge — at their home.

The Keller family woke early Saturday to find their home and mailbox saturated with smashed eggs and maple syrup, while their yard was decorated with toilet paper, duct tape and plastic wrap.

Their former waiter at a Sizzler restaurant in Norco was blamed.

The bad blood began Friday night when Wayne Keller, 37, and his wife, Darlene, 40, went to dinner with Darlene’s parents. Darlene requested vegetables with her meal but the waiter responded that only potatoes were available, Wayne Keller said. He asked to speak to a manager, who then cooked some broccoli and cauliflower for his wife.


Commander reassigned over grounding of gliders

COLORADO SPRINGS — The commander of the Air Force Academy’s glider squadron has been reassigned because his boss lost confidence in his leadership after the aircraft were grounded for safety concerns.

Lt. Col. Jim Imlay, who had led the 94th Flying Training Squadron for eight months, was reassigned on June 2 to a staff training position, academy spokesman John Van Winkle said yesterday.

He was at least the fifth high-level academy commander to be replaced this year.


Man pleads guilty to illegal exporting

NEW HAVEN — A Florida man pleaded guilty Monday to violating the federal Arms Export Control Act last year by illegally sending a shipment to a Pakistani company in the United Arab Emirates.

Alan Haller of Boca Raton, Fla., faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 when sentenced Sept. 5. He also agreed not to contest a five-year government ban of his export privileges.

Prosecutors said Haller shipped items used on military transport vehicles to the Pakistani company, Advance Technical Systems, even after he was told an export license was required. He first canceled the shipment, then reordered it, telling the supplier that the sale was for an American company.


Abortion waiting period is overruled

WILMINGTON — A federal judge has ruled that a state law requiring doctors to observe a 24-hour waiting period before performing an abortion is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced.

In a seven-page ruling on an abortion provider’s lawsuit against the state, U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson said Monday that the law does not meet the Constitution’s standards because its only exception is when a mother’s life is in danger. Judge Robinson referred to U.S. Supreme Court decisions in finding that the law must make exceptions for cases in which waiting could harm a mother’s health.

The state had not enforced the waiting period for about 20 years.


Home for troubled boys ordered to close

OVIEDO — Investigators have closed a group home for troubled boys while they look into accusations that residents dropped a housemate into a septic tank and forced him to sit without pants on a fire-ant mound.

The 13-year-old boy, who suffered a broken shoulder and fire-ant bites, was removed from the Teen Transformation Ministries group home Friday by his mother.

The home, which has operated for 17 years, deals with boys having severe behavioral problems, Executive Director Bennie Richardson said.

The sheriff’s report indicates the boy complained of the shoulder injury and was not given medical attention.


Court requires county to pay busing costs

ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court overturned a ruling that would have required the state to pay DeKalb County schools about $105 million to help cover the costs of 24 years of busing students outside their neighborhoods in a desegregation plan.

DeKalb County had argued the state’s funding formula should have covered those costs.


Judge orders ‘airline’ to stop selling tickets

HONOLULU — A company claiming to be an airline was ordered Monday not to sell any more bargain-price tickets between Honolulu and Los Angeles.

The state obtained a temporary restraining order against Mainline Airways LLC after an investigation found the company had not filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration to operate a charter airline and doesn’t have any planes, officials said.

“It takes more than a Web site to start an airline,” said Mark Recktenwald, director of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “From the evidence gathered thus far it does not appear that Mainline has much more than that.”

Mainline Airways has been offering fares as low as $89, plus $30 in taxes and fees, for one-way flights between Honolulu and Los Angeles starting July 3.


Skunk acting like neighborhood pet

POPLAR BLUFF — Residents on Willow Street in this southeast Missouri town find the skunk roaming their neighborhood charming and anything but a stinker.

This skunk apparently likes people, even following neighbors around and brushing against their legs like a cat.

Since making its presence known a couple of years ago, the olfactory offending animal has become a fixture around Willow Street.

“He really took up with a woman who lived down the road,” said Margie Timmons. “He would wait for her at her mailbox at night when she would get home from work.”


Original art to enliven light-rail stations

TRENTON — A half-million dollars worth of original art is being installed at the 20 stations of the Southern New Jersey Light Rail Line connecting Trenton and Camden.

Metal sculptures of egrets, native to the Delaware River, will be installed atop each station roof. Ceramic tiles depicting local scenes will be built into girders and railings.


Suspended teachers are not rehired

ALBUQUERQUE — Two teachers suspended for posting antiwar material in their classrooms have not been rehired for next year and a third has resigned.

Heather Duffy of Rio Grande High School and Geoff Barrett and Allen Cooper of Highland High School were on short-term contracts that were not renewed, said Rigo Chavez, a spokesman for the Albuquerque school district. Such contracts expire at the end of each school year.

Miss Duffy sent a letter of resignation before she was told her contract was not renewed.


Woody Allen becomes pitch man for France

NEW YORK — Film director Woody Allen, known for his fierce devotion to New York, is working as a pitch man for France, urging Americans to eat french fries, to French kiss and travel to the European nation.

In a French tourism promotion video, Mr. Allen, whose movies are enormously popular in France, says it is time to put behind them the animosity over France’s opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which soured the long-standing relationship.

“Recently there has been a lot of controversy between the two countries, and I would hope that now the two countries could put all that behind them and start to build on what really has been a great, great friendship,” he said in the video, called “Let’s Fall in Love Again.”

The tourism board is playing the video at lunches for travel journalists across America, hoping to boost the number of Americans traveling to France.

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